Teachers try to cope up with online teaching, seek clarity from state on online exams

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Mumbai: The Maharashtra Rajya Shikshak Parishad (MRSP), a body of secondary school teachers, has written to the state government urging clarity on conducting exams. Schools have started online since June 15 in the state, and how to conduct unit tests that are normally conducted by July-end.

In their letter, the Shikshak Parishad has urged the state to clarify the situation since some private schools had already started taking online exams for students, thus putting peer pressure on others to similarly conduct exams. “Our teachers are still struggling with imparting education online and in this circumstances, it’s unfair to expect them to conduct exams online so early. Not all students are able to access online education. In such difficult circumstances, what is the need for any kind of assessments now? The state needs to clarify on exams, since its causing lots of confusion among parents and students,” Shivnath Darade, general secretary of the Mumbai wing of the MRSP told thenews21. 

When the state recently slashed 25% of its syllabus due to loss of teaching hours, it put some portions in self-study, some for projects and some parts to be done with the help of parents. Such directions have only led to more confusion among teachers. However, there is also another line of thinking among the teaching fraternity, who feel exams could help students and teachers alike.

Seema Shaikh, principal of the Pragnya Bodhini High School, Goregaon says that assessments help teachers as well in determining if they are on track. “There are some 75 tools on assessment available in Google forms for online tests, some of which are fun-based and quite easy to do for students. Like, some questions could be research-based and students could benefit from collaborative learning even if they were to ask and take help of others in the process. The important thing for us is the learning outcome i.e. what the child has learnt from the exercise. For example in a chapter on governance systems, we asked students to share their views on which form of government – democratic or presidential – was good. On Global Tiger Day, we asked higher grade students to write about the Project Tiger, the tiger conservation effort in India.”

Shaikh also feels that assessments are needed as it brings much needed seriousness to the teaching exercise. “Without exams, some students might tend to be very casual or laidback about the entire exercise,” says Shaikh. 

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